Dear Love Me Guru,
My name is Ryan, and I’m in love with Kate. I met Kate a couple of months ago, and from the moment I met her, I knew she meant more to me than other women. Thankfully she agreed to go out with me when I invited her to a concert. It happened to be one of her favorite bands too. So that helped solidify our common ground.
I kept asking Kate out, and she kept saying yes. The more I got to know Kate, the more fascinated and in love I became with her. We shared things with each other that we hadn’t shared with anyone else. It was like finally finding a companion who was willing to explore with me the emotional landscape of each of our lives.
But then, all of a sudden, Kate hit the breaks and put me in the friend zone. That really messed with me because I didn’t understand what was happening. I still don’t understand. Why would Kate put me in the friend zone when clearly she has feelings for me? Why would I fall in love with Kate if she wasn’t going to reciprocate?
Not only am I confused. I’m hurting. My heart aches because I love this person who apparently doesn’t love me back. The more I try to win Kate over, the more she pulls back. It’s a double loss because I’m losing the person I love, and a great friend. What can I do?
Remember way back in elementary school, there was always a boy who spent recess chasing girls and pinching them because he liked those girls? But the boy never understood that the girls didn’t really like him. They just liked the game of being chased. Are you being that boy?
The Chasing Game
I’m not making light of your pain. Far from it. I’ve experienced the pain of unrequited love a number of times in my own life, and know it is as real as any physical suffering. Experience has taught me that sometimes love goes unreciprocated because you’re playing “the chasing game.”
In the chasing game, you pursue someone who wants to be chased. They show interest in playing the game, they coax you a bit to start chasing, and pretty soon you’re running around trying to “catch” this person or “win them over.” You try all sorts of maneuvers and strategies: being the friend, being the alpha, being the jerk, being aloof. But the more you try, the more the person moves away from you. And pretty soon, you are left confused, frustrated, and hurt. You wonder why nothing is working, and why the person doesn’t feel the same way about you. You may even wonder if there is something wrong with you.
The truth is that person never intended to love you.
The Giving Game
Love isn’t about chasing someone or “finding the one.” Love is about one thing and one thing only: GIVING.
You must first give love to yourself. If you don’t, you won’t have any love to give to others. This is the first place where love goes unreciprocated. A person who doesn’t give love to herself will only take love, and will never be satisfied with what she takes. That person will just take more and more, and in taking, love becomes unidirectional and unreciprocated. The focus becomes, what am I getting from this person? Or, what am I not getting from this person? And that is where the pain of unreciprocated love manifests itself. In the not getting.
If you haven’t already done so, learn to give love to yourself.
Once you’re able to give love to yourself, then you’re ready to give love to others. But just because you’re ready to give love to others, doesn’t mean that they are ready to give love to you. This is the second spot where unreciprocated love manifests. You can give and give and give, but if the person isn’t giving back, you’ll soon be focusing on what you’re not getting, and the suffering of unreciprocated love will take root in your heart.
My personal belief is that love must be given freely. We just need to be wise about giving love to those who are not ready to give back in kind. Be wise about the measure of your love. It is incredibly difficult to measure your love when it flows freely for one person. But if that person is unable to give back, you must find a way to hold back. Otherwise, you will be hurting from unreciprocated love.
The highest expression of love is giving. And when two people give to each other in kind, that is greatest love.
In economics, equilibrium is the principle where supply and demand are matched up equally. One is not valued over the other. Love requires equilibrium. If one side is valued more over the other, there will be some measure of unreciprocated love.But when two people value the love of the other equally, and give that love in kind, then there is equilibrium, and love can flourish.
You will find that as you give love freely, in the measure that others are able to give back, your life will be filled with love, and the problem of unreciprocated love will resolve itself.
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THANK YOU FOR READING!
Dear Love Me Guru is written for the Love Me Run blog. The writer, Limhi Montoya, is the most authentic coach in the world.
If you’d like to submit a question or comment for the blog, or want to learn how to thrive now, write to email@example.com or visit www.theauthentic.coach.